People from all walks of life encounter skin sensitivity problems at some point during their lives, and often it can come on quite suddenly after many years of having insensitive skin. When your skin starts to become more sensitive all of a sudden, it can be quite worrying, but in many cases there is usually an underlying cause that can be treated so that the side effects of having sensitive skin go away. Read on to find out why your skin might have become sensitive all of a sudden.
What is sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin is, quite simply, skin that becomes more easily irritated, resulting in side effects ranging from redness, prickling and stinging to bumps, erosions and pustules. Skin sensitivity is usually associated with a weakened lipid barrier, the fatty outer layer of skin that keeps moisture in and keeps harsh chemicals out, which is often thinner in people with sensitive skin.
Sensitive skin isn’t actually a medical diagnosis, but more of a general description of skin that has low tolerance to certain skincare products, lifestyle factors and environmental influences.
Why is my skin so sensitive all of a sudden?
A dermatologist will be able to help you to identify why your skin has become so sensitive all of a sudden, and may conduct allergy tests, but below are a few of the issues we often see causing sensitive skin in people who usually have fairly insensitive skin.
Dry skin might feel tight and itchy and look rough, flaky and cracked. It can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including heat, over-bathing, not actively moisturising your skin or using harsh soaps too regularly. When the skin becomes too dry, cracked and damaged, it can no longer effectively protect nerve endings, causing sensitivity.
Skin disorders such as eczema, rosacea and contact dermatitis can appear at any time during your life and will most certainly cause skin sensitivity. These skin disorders negatively impact your skin’s ability to defend itself from germs and chemicals, resulting in sensitivity issues.
Many people will find that their skin starts to become more sensitive at certain times of year, whether that be with the harsh, cold winds of the winter or the hot, humid days in the summer. Periods of high pollen release or spending too long in the sun will also contribute to overall sensitivity.
Chemical-based skincare products
It’s important to be mindful of what you are putting on your skin as many skincare products contain irritants that can increase skin sensitivity and lead to rashes, bumps and even hyperpigmentation. Common irritants are alcohol, fragrances, colorants, lactic acid, glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, sulfates and petroleum. At Epara, we only use natural ingredients in our skincare products which are designed to replenish sensitive skin.
It’s not just what you put on your skin or the physical environment you’re in that can affect skin sensitivity, as psychological factors may be contributing to your sudden sensitivity too. If you’re feeling stressed, angry or other intense, negative emotions over a prolonged period of time, this can start to impact you physically, and skin sensitivity is just one of those physical side effects.
Your day to day habits may also be contributing to your sudden skin sensitivity. Dietary choices such as too much alcohol or certain spicy foods can cause sensitivity, while activities such as swimming or bathing in hot water too regularly can also start to damage the skin. Your choice of cleaning products or detergents might be the issue, and over-scrubbing or over-exfoliating your skin will only make the sensitivity worse. Finally, your sudden sensitivity might just be a natural sign of aging.
How to treat sensitive skin at home
If skin sensitivity is becoming a real problem for you, you should speak to a dermatologist. However, there are plenty of products that you can use at home that are safe, natural and will help to strengthen sensitive skin. At Epara Skincare, we recommend daily use of our hydrating serum, combined with our moisturising face cream to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy, moisturised and to reduce overall sensitivity. The natural ingredients used in these products such as Shea Butter, Onopordum Acanthium Flower and Frankincense Oil reduce the likelihood of any adverse reactions during your skincare routine while maintaining the positive effects that other, chemical-based skincare products have.